A Visit to the Merrimack Farmers’ Market

Where can the freshest food be found? Well, at the local farmers’ market and New Hampshire has many farmers’ markets to visit.  Wednesday my little guy and I head out to the Merrimack Farmers’ Market to pick up some dinner and we found some a few fun surprises, too.

Merrimack’s Farmers’ Market is located at 526 Daniel Webster Hwy in front of the Vault Storage building. It’s open Wednesdays from 3pm to 6pm. It doesn’t offer the shade that Bedford does but all of the vendors had nice tents to get you out of the beat summer sun.

As I mentioned in my blog about the Bedford Farmers’ Market, I like to tell you about the fishmonger in this post.  So I’m going to start there. New England Fishmonger’s sells locally caught fresh fish to both the Bedford and Merrimack Farmers’ Markets. Their motto, which I love, is “Don’t buy fish from strangers.”  It’s so perfect for these guys because the second you walk over to their booth you feel like family. My little guy and I decided it was a good night for haddock and when we walked over to purchase, what was the best tasting fish I have ever had (I’ll share the recipe below.), we were greeted by the friendliest gentleman. He told us all about his son who is one of the captains that goes out to catch the fish. He also talked about his triathlon training with his grandson.  What a fun granddad!   We purchased a pound of haddock.  It was so fresh and delicious.  It made a wonderful dinner. For more about New England Fishmongers you can check them out at New England Foshmongers or on Facebook at New England Fishmongers Facebook page.

While at the Merrimack Farmers’ Market I also picked up so fresh collard greens.  Collard greens are always supper tasty with some garlic and bacon. I purchased them from Ledge Top Farm.  Who told me about some potatoes he’ll have for little guy to try later on.  Can’t wait to head back to try them.

Two other fun finds we had at the Merrimack Farmers’ Market were 27 Teas and Sweet Lava hot sauce by Effin Sauce Company.

Tea is my morning drink.  It is my peaceful zen spot.  I sit here sipping it now.  So when I head to my local farmers’ market and find a woman who is starting her own business as a tea mixologist, I’ve gotta check things out. I’m not going to go to much into 27 Teas as I’d actually like to have a whole blog about this company and the wonderful teas and work that is done but needless to say I got tea.  I purchased the Caribbean Green and it was wonderful.  Light, smooth and refreshing.  Definitely had a cool coconut taste.  It was great as hot tea or a slightly sweetened iced tea. As an ice tea, it makes a wonderful hot summer day beverage.  I’m definitely going back to check out some more of the products and learn a little more about the company. So tea drinkers keep your eyes out for more about 27 Teas. For more about 27 Teas check out the website at: 27 Teas and finder it on Facebook at 27 Teas Facebook

IMG_0801

As I mentioned above I found one other amazing find I want to share with you and that’s Sweet Lava produced by Effin Sauces Company.  Hot sauce lovers,  you’ve gotta check this stuff out.  It’s delicious!  I love a good hot sauce and this stuff doesn’t disappoint.  Starts off sweet and then BAM! the heat kicks in.  I’ve put this on my morning eggs, on some corn chips, and mixed it in cream creams and served with crackers.  I’ll be looking for some other tasty recipes to try with this sauce but its got a nice kick.  Find out more about Effin Sauces Company on their Facebook page at Effin Sauces Facebook Page.

IMG_0803

So if your out this Wednesday check out the Merrimack Farmers Market. It’s a great time, with great people and tasty eats!  Bon Appetit!

The recipe I used for the haddock was Italian Haddock.

Mine Falls Park: A Great Place for a Nature Walk in the Heart of Nashua

 

I started run 10 years ago.  The decision was made after I had returned from vacation to find my wedding dress no longer fit and I had only a few months to make it work without some serious alterations. I did make it work and was able to get into my dress but what does this have to do with Mine Falls?  Here it is….

While getting out and burning off those extra dinners out, I realized I enjoyed running and want to challenge myself a little more. As the dreaded (not so dreaded any more) 30’s began a fast approach, a friend and I start chatting about completing a 5K.  Now I may have been out getting my run on but completing a 5K sounded a bit daunting. Could I really run 3.1 miles straight without dropping dead?

This is where I discovered couch to 5K, a great training tool for those interested in getting off the couch and earning that runners high! The runner’s high is a free and legal high. It leaves you feeling great without dodgy side effects. So I strapped on my shoes and hit the pavement.

Problem: You can only run around an apartment complex so many times before you are bored out of your skull and in my case lose your motivation.

In steps a coworker with a suggestion, she runs at Mine Falls with friends. Mine Falls is trails and pavement around the Nashua River, covering 325 acres in the heart of Nashua, NH.  It also has recreational fields for soccer, baseball and lacrosse. Now I had to check this place out.

IMG_0190

Mine Falls proved to be an amazing place to run but it was so much more than that. It’s a great place to get out an enjoy the day or nature with your family. I like to put my Little Man in his babywear carrier and take him for little hikes.  I’ve seen families out biking through Mine Falls. Runners get together for group runs. Friends out for fishing and kayaking. Mine Fall offers so many options and its free fun. They even had scheduled park clean up days. Check it out: https://www.nashuanh.gov/491/Mine-Falls-Park. It’s also a great place to walk your dog but remember Nashua has a leash law and Mine Falls doesn’t have a poop fairy so please clean up after your dog.

It offers fun for every season, although in the winter it can get icy. Spring you can see the trees budding, summer you can escape the heat in the shade.  Fall you can see the leaves change.  Winter you can snowshoe or cross country ski through the snowy trails.

IMG_0196

For my fellow runners, there are also several race options through Mine Falls.  Gate City Striders, a local running group, offers a summer series.  You can check it out at http://gatecity.org/mine-falls-trail-series/ . It’s a no frills race through the trails at a great cost. Also the Wolf Hollow Trail race in the fall is a nice 10 miler or relay. You can check it out at http://wolfhollowhalf.com/.  If you’re looking for friends to run with; ladies check out – She Runs This Town, NH or Mom’s Runs This Town on Facebook.  Another option is http://www.fleetfeetnashua.com/events/social-group-runs. You can get fitted for you proper running shoe while at fleet feet.

Mine Falls has 3 regular entry points; one by the Nashua YMCA, one behind the Hannaford’s on Coliseum Avenue (Lincoln Park entrance) and the Whipple Street entrance. There are also 2 boat ramps; One across from the Nashua YMCA and one behind Conway Arena. This is a no wake zone but it is a great area to put your canoes and kayaks in to the Nashua River or the Mill Pond.

IMG_0182

Speaking of the Nashua River, how about a little history about Mine Falls? Mine Falls got its name from when it was allegedly mined in the 1700s for low quality lead on the islands below the falls. The area was later seen as a potential site for textile mills of the 1800s. 3 miles of canal were then dug to create a 36 foot drop at the mills. A gate house was also built and still stands and can be seen in Mine Falls. Mine Falls was designated as part of the Heritage Trail system in 1992, this trail system extends from Massachusetts to Canada.

IMG_0188

Remember Mine Falls is in the city and while you can see wild life such as fish, turtles, snakes, beavers, hedgehogs, and the legendary stories of moose, deer and bears it does have city features as well.  Mine falls has high tension wires running through it. Trails run under a highway overpass.  Trails run along road ways and behind one of Nashua’s High School as well as very close to the Nashua Police Department.

IMG_0198

 

Some safety reminders to consider before heading out:

  1. Never hike alone and be sure someone always knows where you are going.
  2. Make sure you have a copy of the trail map. If a paper one isn’t offered take a picture of it with your phone (this will also help remind you what entrance you parked at) or print it out before you leave home.
  3. Dress properly and be aware of the weather.
  4. Sunscreen and bug spray are highly recommended.
  5. Carry your cell phone with you.
  6. I recommend carrying water on you too if you can.

I hope you have a chance to get out and see Nashua’s Mine Falls.  Explore New Hampshire! It’s amazing.

 

 

Going Local NH is Back!

cropped-going-local-nh-logo-1.pngIt’s time to give Going Local NH some new steam. It’s back and live again.  Starting today I shall be bringing you a new blog post every other week on what is happening in New Hampshire. The opening post will be a fun fact about New Hampshire post.  After that I’ll be working on a few series. Some of the series I will be bring to you are:

  1. Farm to Table – This is where I’ll be checking out local farmers’ markets and farms. New Hampshire has some amazing farms. It’s not just limited to produce either.  There are some really great pig farms, cattle and bison ranches, and chicken and turkey farms. There are sugar shacks that produce some delicious maple syrup. I know there are Canadian and Vermont Maple syrup snobs but give New Hampshire a try!  It’s really SWEET. 😉 You can even get fresh seafood! From these adventures I’ll pick out some goodies to take home.  With those goodies, I’ll try some recipes and post the tasty results. This won’t be limited to only fun adult meals but some baby purees too.
  2. Drink Around New Hampshire – This series I’ll take you on an inside tour of New Hampshire’s local breweries, wineries, meaderies and distilleries maybe even a few local soda shops and farms that produce juices. This is one of my favorite blogs to do because my husband and I head out with friends and everyone enjoys a great afternoon together over a local beverage. A lot of the local wineries and breweries are family friendly, having pub food and games for the kids. Most of the wineries offer place for the kids to run around outside where the family can enjoy a nice picnic. Cheers!
  3. Family Friendly Short Hikes – I am one for the big hikes with the big views and I will definitely blog about those but I want to start with the hikes that are closer to my heart right now.  I’ve just had a little one and he loves being outside and exploring new things but between feedings, diapers and naps we aren’t ready for big hikes so I’m going to bring you those hikes in New Hampshire that are still adventure packed and have great views but aren’t overwhelming for those of you with littles. This is one feature I love about New Hampshire, you can hike for days, a day or an hour and still enjoy all the beauty New Hampshire has to offer.

These are just a few of the series I plan to write.  I’ll also have blogs about fun parks to venture out to, local heroes (historical and current) to check out and local crafts to enjoys. Please stick around there is more to come!!

If there is something you want me to check out don’t hesitate to point me in the right direction. I love sharing New Hampshire goodies with everyone!

Are you enjoying this blog? Don’t forget to find it on social media and like, comment and share it!

 

Beer Soap

Beer

This weekend I made way over to the Made in NH expo. It was fantastic. Lots of great New Hampshire crafters made it out. It had a large variety of options to check out food, wine, photography, baby clothes, ballroom dance lessons and more! I had a great time exploring.
I discovered while I was there, a local artisan who made soap. This may not seem very impressive but the woman made soap products from local brew!! Beveridge Soap Company is a small home based business producing artisan soaps. They use local breweries beers to make soap. I got their Cape Ann Brewing Pumpkin Stout Beer soap for myself and their Dude made with White Birch’s beer. Dude has a clean man smell to it my hub and I love. They aren’t just limited to beer soaps either. They also offer a wine soap from LaBelle and a chocolate soap. Candles and shampoos are also available!
I find this to be a cool man gift! So if you are looking check out:
http://www.soapguildstores.com/BeaverRidgeBathandBody/Default.aspx

Manchester, 2nd Happiest City according to Men’s Health

sun_glasses_cool_smiley_clip_art_22897

According to Men’s health Manchester, NH has an A rating for happiness only beaten out by Honolulu, which let’s be honest sunshine and happiness are in the air and water in Hawaii, but New Hampshire has had this silly reputation for being cold and wet. Many people think it snows all year here, that’s only on Mount Washington and I don’t think they will let you live up there and from someone who’s hiked it, trust me, you don’t want too!

So how has Manchester beat out cities in California, Texas and sunny Florida? Well Men’s Health did some statistical research based on the suicide rate, the unemployment rate and the number of people on antidepressants and Manchester fell in second place. Is this because we are a freer state? Is it because we enjoy our weather and all of it challenges? Are we just healthier? Are we more innovative? I’m not sure. Let me know what you think…

http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/frown-towns

 

Throwback Brewery: 10 best Nanobreweries in America

Throwback Brewery

As part of my drinking around New Hampshire Series, I thought I would share this amazing bit of prestige for Throwback Brewery, one of New Hampshire’s nanobreweries… Throwback has won the title of being 1 of the 10 best nanobreweries in the US according the Bon Appetit Magazine! Congratulations Throwback! Your brews have always been enjoyed in my home!

http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/badaily/2013/03/best-small-breweries-america.html#ixzz2OHTRkCeC

New Hampshire Gets Decked Out For a Good Cause

Hundred Nights is an emergency cold weather shelter in Keene New Hampshire, open from December through March. This shelter, started by Don Primrose in January 2010, is a volunteer/ donation run charity. They offer a resting place on cold nights for those who have been displaced or are homeless.  They cater to individuals and families.

On March 30th they are hosting their 2nd annual Hundred Nights’ Masquerade Ball. This event will be to help raise money for the shelter. It will include dinner, a cash bar, dancing and a silent auction. Tickets are $40 with a guest purchased before the event or $50 at the door. Please check this event out. It’s a fun night out and great way to give back to the New Hampshire community!

Hundred Nights Masquerade Ball

Hundred Nights’ Masquerade Ball – http://www.hundrednights.org/events

Mom Prom is a nationwide event that came to New Hampshire three years ago. It was started in Canton, MI with a desire to raise money for a local charity and for women to have a great night out. Women get together to get dressed up in their best or tackiest dress and bring awareness to a charitable cause, in New Hampshire they are raising money for St. Joseph’s Breast Cancer Center.

On April 20th Mom Prom Nashua will be hosting there 3rd annual Mom Prom event. It will include snacks, one drink ticket with a cash bar, dancing, a photo booth, and a silent auction. Tickets are $50. This event will help kick cancer out of our lives and help improve the quality of care offer to patientsfighting breast cancer. Please check out this event!  It’s great night out for women!

Mom Prom

Mom Prom – http://mompromnashua.org/mom-prom-nashua-2013.html

These are some great ways to give back to our communities. If you know of more let me know. I’d love to help out. Thanks!